New Jersey’s first ‘bat tick’ found in Sussex County – News – New Jersey Herald

A large brown bat, which is studying other organisms, was carrying a parasitic tick, a rare bat in Sussex County, that was found in New Jersey.

The tick was found in the summer of 2019 as biologists from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife were using “haze” nets to catch rare bait species to learn more about their statewide distribution and habitat use. Large brown bats are often caught by chance because they are much more common.

During his examination of one of the big brown bats, the biologist found the larval stage of a tick, later identified as the species Carios kelly. The tick is known in 29 states, but this one, and one later found in a study in Mercer County, are the first to be identified in the state.

Lead author James L., a recent article in Medical Entomology. Along with Oki, a doctoral student at the Rutgers Center for Vector Biology announced the discovery this week.

But he and a biologist who were part of the DFW study team agreed that there was little danger to the public. Oki said “all ticks feed on blood and can transmit pathogens during feeding.”

The article states that there are records of species biting humans and people “There is a need to be aware that if you remove bats from your belfry, attic or elsewhere, ticks that are left behind are blood. Can look for a new source. ”

Senior author of the study, Dinah M. Fonseca, a professor and director of the Center for Vector Biology in the Department of Entomology at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, explained that while the public health risks remain unknown, “discovering them as new” Jersey bats was an unusual phenomenon that led to bat experts Motivated to contact us. Perhaps these ticks are becoming more common. ”

Okie said the species, known as a “soft” tick, was first identified in North America in the 1930s.

He said that the coronovirus that causes COVID-19 and is found in bats in China, where the disease first spreads to humans, “is a genetic relative as I understand it.” He said that many animals, not only bats, can carry coronoviruses.

DFW biologists said that Kovid-19 “is now a human disease and the risk of getting sick is from someone else, not wildlife.”

“You can’t catch COVID-19 with a bat,” the scientist said.

It was also mentioned that studies are underway in North America to determine whether it is possible for humans to spread the virus to native bats.

In other parts of the world bats are host to a variety of tick species, most of which are soft ticks, Okey said. He said that bats are ticks that carry bacteria that can cause diseases in humans.

Biologists said there are no known examples of newly discovered ticks in a New Jersey home. Now that they are known in the state, future studies and monitoring will help biologists understand more about ticks.

As with other bacterial diseases, such as Lyme disease, which is caused by a tick, Oki said that this newly identified tick does not infect Lyme “and I suspect they will not transmit the virus transmitted by mosquitoes.” . ”

He said that bats are an important part of a healthy ecosystem and should be protected.

“The general public should not be concerned with batting on them,” he said. “There is a unique set of circumstances for this to happen.”

He reinforced that view and said that people should be more concerned with overall tick prevention when going out.

“The chances of being bitten by an American dog tick, black legged tick, or a Lone Star tick are significantly higher than those bitten by a bat tick,” he said.

And anyone with bats in an attic or other parts of the house must follow the DFW guidelines for batting boycott, including proper timing and methods and does not harm mammals.

For more information:

A co-author in the article, Andrea M. There is Agizi, a professor in the Department of Entomology. Scientists from the state DFW, Smithsonian Institution and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research contributed to the study.